The criminal justice system sent a clear message to political operatives, lobbyists and fundraisers recently: “Don’t mess with Texas elections.” The Texas Association of Business, the state’s largest business organization, pleaded guilty to illegally funneling corporate money into the 2002 campaign. That was to help elect a slate of state Republican lawmakers. As its punishment, the association will have to pay a $10,000 fine. Hopefully, this was a lesson to the association and those who fund it. It may also be a lesson that others who would usurp the will of the people will get and understand.
These types of campaign finance violations cannot continue to go unpunished. In this case, Common Cause joined Public Citizen in filing the complaint that led to the guilty plea. Credit also should go to Texans for Public Justice and Campaigns for People for helping research the complaint. Of course, none of this would have been possible without Ronnie Earle, a local District Attorney who was not afraid to take on the bad guys. The District Attorney did his job and he should be commended.
Unfortunately, the people of Texas must deal with the consequences of what was considered a “stolen election” in 2002. The Congressional redistricting after the election would not have occurred without the support of the candidates illegally backed by the Texas Association of Business. What happened in Texas underscores the need for substantial reform of our election laws. If a system to provide effective public financing of elections had been in place, it most likely would have kept this group from illegally working in an election. Certainly, in the future it will be more difficult for groups such as the Texas Association of Business to illegally influence the outcome of elections. We need a reform of the existing election laws in all states and on the federal level. At least, the criminal conviction in Texas is a step in the right direction.
Source: Public Citizen
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.